Newsweek's Evan Thomas and NPR's Nina Totenberg, likely reflecting the attitude of many of their Washington press corps colleagues, declared Barack Obama's connection to unrepentant terrorist William Ayers as an out of bounds subject for the campaign. On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek, charged: “If he loses the election because of that, it's a disgrace.” Totenberg alleged Sarah Palin's anti-Obama rhetoric is “pretty ugly and a little scary” and scolded the panel for even arguing over the relevance of Ayers: “Given what we are in, this is a stupid conversation.”
If he [Obama] loses the election because of that, it's a disgrace for him. If the Republicans make that the issue at the end, it's a disgrace....They should not be trying to beat Obama based on the company he kept. It's bad company, shouldn't have done it, but it shouldn't be the controlling issue.
Last Friday on the same show, as recounted in an October 3 NewsBusters item, Thomas likened Sarah Palin to Louisiana's infamous demagogic Democrat of the 1920s, Huey Long. Reacting to Palin's suggestion in the VP debate that the Vice President has a legislative role, Thomas contended:
Here's what's disturbing: Either she didn't know, because actually the legislative role is just about zero as Biden says, or scarier she has a little bit of Huey Long in her. The kind of -- you could see her being a demagogue, saying “I got to do this, the rules are in the way, to heck with the rules, let's do it.”